Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Last Night at Anchor

19 May 2009
Playa Santo Domingo

The last night at anchor is always a sad one. The journey is almost over. We'll soon have to trade ready access to wilderness, the open unfolding of an expanse of days or hours for "civilization": clocks, crowds, the press of social and financial obligations, work--the duties of the land. They fit closely, like an elasticized sock, a wetskin or a too-tight dress; once one slips back into them, it requires quite a bit of labour to peel them off again.

But for one last night--freedom!

We arrive at Santo Domingo, just inside Bahia Concepcion, in the late afternoon, set the anchor and organize ourselves for the next day's 79 mile crossing to the mainland. The dinghy is deflated, rolled and lashed to the deck. We empty the jerry jugs of fuel into the tanks and lash down anything that could move. Thus prepared, we pull on our bathing suits and jump into the water. We swim ashore, then walk along the stony, shell-strewn beach, waving to the occupants of the other boat in the anchorage. Then back into the water, back to the boat, to take a hot sun shower on the rear deck, and eat a final supper in the wild.

The boat turns on the anchor, turns into the wind; we watch the sun set over the mountains of the Baja peninsula, and the pelicans skim in perfect lines just above the surface of the water. How beautiful the world is!

Pelicans skimming near Playa Santo Domingo
The other boat (Honu, from Honolulu), anchored near to the shore
Marike muses as the sun goes down
Sunset over the mainland and the water

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